Egypt Independent

Presidential hopeful Shafiq boasts of his experience under Mubarak

Presidential hopeful Ahmed Shafiq has boasted of his record of leadership as a minister and senior military officer under former President Hosni Mubarak.

Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday, Shafiq reminded his audience of his experience as civil aviation minister and air force chief under Mubarak, putting his success down to his ability to select the right people to work under him.

At the press conference in Cairo, Shafiq said he is gifted with the ability to distinguish skilled people and appoint them to suitable posts. He added that he can make decisions in “less than a second.”

"They link me to the former regime; I reply that I served my country, not a specific regime. I also served under former presidents Anwar al-Sadat and Gamala Abdel Nasser," Shafiq told his audience.

Some people in the audience interrupted Shafiq to chant slogans backing him as president.

Some observers believe Shafiq's military background might make him the presidential candidate favored by the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF). Shafiq, however, denied the suggestion in a statement to the Kuwaiti Gazette on Wednesday.

Appointed during the January uprising, Shafiq was the last Mubarak-era prime minister. He was removed by the SCAF following popular protests decrying his affiliation to the toppled president.

Presidential hopeful Mohamed ElBaradei said on Wednesday that Shafiq’s plans to run for president were an indication that Mubarak’s regime remains in place.

“When Mubarak’s prime minister, who was ousted by the revolution, announces his intention to run for the presidency of revolutionary Egypt, this means the former regime is still alive,” said ElBaradei on his Twitter account.

He concluded his post on an optimistic note, however. "The revolution will triumph," he wrote.

Translated from Al-Masry Al-Youm